Each month, we interview a captain or first officer of the fleet to gain more insight into what it takes to command a ship and learn more about how each of these staff members found their way into these roles.
This month, we’re interviewing the Commanding Officer of the starship USS Gorkon, Vice Admiral Quinn Reynolds.
DeVeau: Thank you for joining us! You’ve answered several interviews over the years, so we know a bit already, but would you be willing to share some things about yourself and your character that we might not know?
Let’s see… Many people know that I’ve spent a good few years working in healthcare, but I’ve had itchy feet for a while, and so I’m currently in the middle of pursuing a career change in a different sphere. Let me get back to you on how successful that is!
As for Quinn? I think it’s all there in the sims. She’s an introvert who’s learned how to project confidence she rarely feels, battling with imposter syndrome more often than she’d like. She often doubts and questions her decisions, be they personal or professional; to cope she’s done her best to find a productive way to do that, learning to reflect and learn from difficult moments and not beat herself up over them (too much).
You’ve been in SB118 for a long time. How has your role in the community changed over the years?
Fifteen years now, isn’t that wild? I started off much like everyone else, a wide-eyed ensign finding their feet in a new environment, and I was fortunate enough to land with a fantastic CO: Captain Rhys Bejain. He was and still is an exemplar of captaincy to me, someone I could look to for help and guidance, who made fair and balanced decisions with all the crew in mind—and of course, really fun to write with. I didn’t start off seeking a command, which is a large part of why I made Quinn someone uninterested in a major leadership role, but as time went on and my COs trusted me with running larger parts of the story, it was something I grew into.
The Gorkon has been around for a significant amount of time as a ship, coming up on seven years! What are some of the most significant or memorable events in her story?
If you asked my crew, there are probably two things that really stand out. Our year in hell (aka Over There), where we spent an IC year in an alternate universe where the Dominion won the war. Our experiences, struggles and losses there had a tremendous impact on the psyches of the characters involved, and it’s amazing to see how it still informs their perspectives and behaviour six years later.
The second would definitely be the Skarbek. It’s best described as a shared, mass hallucination, where the characters believe they are members of the Maquis during its heyday in the 2370s. We’ve had a few missions where we dip into that imaginary world (and people are asking for more!), but aside from the missions themselves being great fun, we’ve really enjoyed seeing the repercussions play out in reality. The Skarbek has broken relationships, forged or mended others, and brought about some incredible IC introspection as characters consider the road not taken, and what they might truly be capable of.
What is the hardest part about being a commanding officer?
I think the hardest part is the balancing act. To riff on that famous quote, we’re always trying to balance the needs of the many with the needs of the few. That can keep a mission running while giving everyone a chance to shine, balancing an individual simmer’s plot or character goals with the needs of the ship, or making sure that we don’t neglect our own characters and stories in trying to help everyone else. It’s worth it; when you get that balance right, it’s a special kind of magic.
What’s the most rewarding?
Watching everyone have fun! It sounds trite, but that’s really the best part. There are few things more satisfying than setting up a mission and seeing people unleash their creativity and collaborate to create something wonderful for everyone to enjoy.
For those looking to become a Captain in the future, what advice would you give?
Enjoy the journey. There’s no rush to get to command; many of our COs will tell you just how fondly they look back on their time as junior officers and wish they had valued it more at the time. Always remember that we want you to succeed, and it’s in that spirit we give you advice and feedback—even if it feels critical, it’s there to help you grow and develop.
Thanks for your time, Vice Admiral Reynolds!
You can read more about Vice Admiral Reynolds on the wiki.